Categories
News

Celebrating diversity and resilience: NGO National Trans Coalition (Armenia) marks World Tolerance Day and Anniversary

On November 16, World Tolerance Day is commemorated globally, a day that holds special significance for the National Trans Coalition Human Rights NGO (NTC) as it coincides with the organization’s anniversary. Under the theme “Celebrate diversity!”, this year’s event convened approximately 200 representatives from state institutions, diplomatic missions, international and local organizations, communities, and various stakeholders.

The commemoration began with welcoming speeches and congratulatory notes, followed by the NTC team presenting the organization’s accomplishments over the past year. They shared the annual report, highlighting statistics on human rights violations, instances of stigma and discrimination, as well as cases of violence stemming from intolerance. After the formal segment of the event, participants engaged in treatment sessions, free-flowing conversations, and discussions.

The primary focus of NTC remains the eradication of intolerance directed towards trans*, non-binary, and gender-diverse individuals in Armenia. As the organization celebrates another year of resilience, unity, and solidarity, they take a moment to reflect on those lost, acknowledging their strength in the face of adversity. A firm commitment is made to combat transphobia, aspiring to contribute to the creation of a better, safer, and more inclusive world for everyone.

Expressing gratitude for the journey thus far, the NTC remains steadfast in its dedication to the cause and a home for many.


Also read:

Addressing legal barriers and advocating for HIV decriminalization: insights from REAct’s data

Through the lens of REAct’s work: PrEP in the context of human rights, key populations, and access challenges

Categories
Response stories

Fighting for one’s rights and the rights of others: the story of an attack on a trans woman in Armenia

One summer day in the life of Karine (name changed), an event occurred that was a testament to her courage. Karine, a trans woman, activist, and employee of the NGO New Generation, was working to provide HIV testing and counseling. However, she faced a challenge that she had to take on.

While doing her job, Karine was attacked by a stranger. The man, possibly after learning that Karine was a trans woman, began to insult her and interfere with her HIV prevention activities. Despite the aggression and threats, the NGO New Generation staff decided to keep their cool and leave the testing site.

However, at that moment the situation took an even more frightening turn. The attacker didn’t just stop at words. He attacked Karine, inflicting grievous bodily harm. The person being tested rushed away from the scene, leaving Karine alone. However, the client did not give up in the face of aggression. She immediately contacted the police, and law enforcement officials arrived at the scene. The attacker was detained and a criminal case was opened. It is unclear at this stage whether Karine and the attacker were acquaintances or whether it was a random attack.

Legal support for Karine is being provided by an NGO. With the participation of REActors, it was possible to record the crime and ensure the initiation of criminal proceedings. Thanks to the assistance of paralegals, Karine was sent for a forensic medical examination. The criminal case is currently under review.

The story serves as a reminder of the importance of human rights and the protection of those facing violence and discrimination. The client’s fearless behavior and determination raise an important point about the importance of continuing to fight for equal rights and justice. And that everyone can fight for their rights and the rights of others.


Also read:

Protecting the rights of transgender women in Tajikistan

Incident in Moldova with disclosure of medical information

Categories
Response stories

Armenia: a long way to restore the rights of the victim

In 2020, the Republic of Armenia citizen A.A. (name was changed) applied to New Generation Humanitarian NGO. The latter reported that he and his friends were in their country house. A group of people attacked the house and them, demanding to leave in connection with the alleged sexual orientation and gender identity of A.A  and his friends. An argument started, after which those people hit different parts of A.A.’s body with their hands, feet and stones, causing bodily injuries around the head. On the same day, A.A. submitted a report on the incident to the RA Police. A forensic medical examination has been appointed. The attorney of New Generation Humanitarian NGO, Ara Gharagyozyan, was involved in the case.

According to the prepared materials based on the report, a criminal case was initiated under Article 117 of the Republic of Armenia a Criminal Code; it was sent to the Investigation Division of the Investigation Committee for preliminary investigation.

In 2020, the Investigation Division made a decision to accept the criminal case. A.A. was recognized as a victim. The case is under investigation.

Sergey Gabrielyan, the President of New Generation Humanitarian NGO, says that despite the revolution in Armenia, discrimination is still perpetrated due to the real or presumed sexual orientation of individuals and gender identity, which is not properly qualified by law enforcement agencies, but is qualified with articles of lenient punishment. New Generation Humanitarian NGO will be consistent in ensuring a fair trial and non-discrimination.

Clarification 

Infliction of a willful bodily injury or other damage to health which caused short-term health disorder or insignificant loss of the capacity to work is punished with a fine in the amount of 50 to 100 minimal salaries, or with arrest for up to 2 months.

Case development

In 2021 the preliminary investigation of the case ended and the case was sent to court.
The judge of the Court of General Jurisdiction made a decision about setting the case for hearing.

A forensic psychological examination was assigned to one of the accused – G.S. According to the forensic medical report the accused is considered partially sane and is subject to criminal liability.

The court hearings were scheduled mainly with 3-month breaks, about which the Organization’s attorney Ara Gharagyozyan filed a complaint to the RA Ministry of Justice.

In 2022, the first court hearing on the case of A.A. who had been beaten by G.M. and S.H.
During the hearing, the defense filed a motion to terminate the criminal prosecution on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired.
The accusing prosecutor did not object to the motion.
The attorney of New Generation Humanitarian NGO Ara Gharagyozyan presented a corresponding objection in the case.
The verdict was announced by the court on the same day.
According to the court decision, the case was terminated and the criminal prosecution was stopped on the grounds of expiration of the statute of limitations.

New Generation Humanitarian NGO considers that:
• Deliberate inaction was shown by the judge, allowing guilty persons to avoid criminal liability. As a result of all this, a number of rights of the victim defined by the ECHR were violated, such as a fair trial, respect for personal and family life, etc.
• Hate crime has not been investigated by the state, which has led to a violation of the victim’s right to abstain from cruel-treatment.

The organization decided to pursue the restoration of the rights of the victim. Ara Gharagyozyan, attorney of New Generation submitted a petition of appeal to the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Armenia. 

After exhausting all domestic court instances of the case, according to the initially planned strategy, the attorney of the case lodged the relevant application with the ECHR on June 9, 2023.

The application included complaints on the violations of Article 6.3, Part 1, Article 8.1, and Article 14.1 of the ECHR.


Original Source

Original Source

Original Source

Original Source

Also read:

Progress in Addressing Discrimination and Promoting HIV Awareness in North Macedonia

Criminal proceedings of the case on trans* person’s beating continue in Armenia

Categories
Response stories

Criminal proceedings of the case on trans* person’s beating continue in Armenia

On August 18, 2022, H.A. had been walking in one of the streets of Vanadzor city, when two strangers approached her. The strangers immediately attacked H.A. and beat her hitting on different parts of her body. Then, they took out a knife, held it at H.A. and threatened her to leave the city as she’s a trans* woman and it’s a shame for them to have her in their city. They also threatened to kill the person if she didn’t leave. H.A. called the police. The police arrived at the scene and took everybody to the police department. However, the police materials don’t contain the data of the offenders. During reporting about the case at the police station, the police officers didn’t allow the victim to make calls or mention about her injuries in her report.  

By the decision of August 22, 2022, of A. A. Vermishyan, first counsellor, investigator of the Lori regional Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia, the case of beating H.A. at location called Lcher in the night of June 5 and morning of June 6, 2022 and the case of August 18th beating were united. 

According to the decision of August 27, 2022, of A.G. Tsakhkloryan, investigator of the Lori regional Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia, H.A. was recognized as a victim. 

H.A. applied to NGNGO a month after the incident. NGNGO provided the applicant with assistance, and compiled a complaint against the human rights violation committed by police officers during taking the report from the victim. H.A. was provided with a referral for forensic examination. 

Since January 2023 New Generation NGO attorney A. Zalyan took up the case.  

In 2023, the cases united by the decision of August 22, 2022, were again separated, and are examined within different proceedings. 

The preliminary investigations of the cases continue. 

New Generation NGO will provide additional information about the further progress of the cases. 

Original Source


Also read:

Combating Discrimination Against Children with HIV in Kazakhstan Educational Institutions

Progress in Addressing Discrimination and Promoting HIV Awareness in North Macedonia

Categories
Response stories Uncategorized

Armenia: help in fighting blackmail

This year brought an unexpected challenge in the life of Zara (name changed), a transgender woman. Together with her partner, she decided to take an HIV test and the result was positive. Instead of support and sympathy from her significant other, Zara faced shocking blackmail and threats. Her partner threatened to reveal her HIV status and demanded money to keep this personal information private. He swindled $1,500 in local currency and demanded more.

Zara found herself in a difficult situation, not knowing how to proceed. However, thanks to the advice of a kind friend, she turned to REActors for help. This was the turning point that helped Zara to reclaim her rights and regain her dignity.

The help provided by the REActor was incredibly valuable. Through competent counseling and support, Zara realized her rights and was able to regain her self-esteem. Equally importantly, the paralegal acted as a mediator in resolving this difficult situation. During the conversation, he explained to the offender about his illegal actions and what would follow if he did not stop.

After some time and after the intervention of the REActor, the blackmailer realized his illegal actions and returned the money to Zara. This case is an example of how proper information, dialog, and mediation can help people to fight injustice.

Zara’s story highlights the importance of the work of national REActors who come to the rescue in difficult situations and demonstrate that solidarity and knowledge of one’s rights can make a difference in people’s lives.


Also read:

Fighting for a safe birth: the story of a client from Uzbekistan

Problems of HIV-positive prisoners in Azerbaijan

Categories
Response stories

Guiding Change: The Role of REActors in Supporting and Protecting LGBTQ People in Armenia

Армения, несмотря на свое членство в Европейской комиссии против дискриминации, сталкивается с глубоко укоренившейся консервативной культурой и традициями, что приводит к стигматизации и дискриминации ЛГБТК-сообщества.

– Законодательство: Армения не имеет законов, которые явно защищали бы ЛГБТК-сообщество от дискриминации на основе сексуальной ориентации или гендерной идентичности. Это создает юридическую неопределенность и препятствует защите и правам ЛГБТК-людей.

– Социальное отношение: В армянском обществе преобладает консервативный подход к вопросам сексуальной ориентации и гендерной идентичности. Гомофобия и трансфобия распространены, и ЛГБТК-люди подвергаются социальному изоляции, преследованию и насилию. Они также часто сталкиваются с дискриминацией на рабочих местах и в учебных заведениях.

– Отсутствие правовой защиты: ЛГБТК-сообщество в Армении сталкивается с ограничениями в доступе к здравоохранению, социальным услугам и юридической защите. Отсутствие правовой защиты означает, что жертвы дискриминации и насилия имеют мало возможностей обратиться за помощью и справедливостью.

– Пропаганда “традиционных ценностей”: в последние годы наблюдается усиление консервативных и националистических групп, которые активно пропагандируют “традиционные ценности” и враждебно относятся к ЛГБТК-сообществу. Они проводят митинги, демонстрации и кампании, которые способствуют стигматизации и дискриминации ЛГБТК-людей.

Отсутствие законодательной защиты, социальные ограничения и препятствия в доступе к правам и услугам создают неблагоприятную среду для ЛГБТК-людей. Однако, благодаря инструментам, таким как РЕАкт, армянское ЛГБТК-сообщество находит поддержку и защиту, способствуя изменениям в общественном мнении.

Предательство и отчуждение

19 января Тигран (имя изменено) – представитель ЛГБТК-сообщества позвонил РЕАктору со слезами и рассказал, что познакомился в Интернете с парнем. Их общение длилось какое-то время, после чего он отправил ему свои интимные фотографии. Однако парень начал шантажировать Тиграна, сказав, что отправит эти снимки его родителям, если он не переведет ему 100 000 драм (около 250 долларов) до конца дня. Пострадавший был вынужден передать эти деньги, но через 2 дня тот потребовал столько же. Такой суммы у клиента уже не было. Тогда шантажист написал отцу Тиграна, что их сын гей и если до конца следующего дня ему не пришлют 200 000 драм, он выложит его интимные фото в интернет. Вместо поддержки, отец пострадавшего избил его и сказал, что такой сын ему не нужен. Тигран, глубоко переживая, решил покончить жизнь самоубийством и направился к мосту. Он позвонил РЕАктору уже оттуда, перед прыжком. РЕАктор уговорил его не делать поспешных решений и, не прерывая связи, направился к нему.

“Ты не один”

На месте он предоставил психологическую помощь и предложил переночевать у себя, так как Тиграну просто не было куда идти. Утром они вместе направились в отделение полиции. Представители органов подшучивали над молодым человеком и не хотели записывать показания. Они говорили, что пока ничего не опубликовано, нужно радоваться и продолжать наслаждаться жизнью. Тогда РЕАктор позвонил на горячую линию и оставил жалобу, после чего им позволили написать заявление. Уже через несколько дней шантажиста нашли, взяли под стражу и провели воспитательную беседу. Он больше не беспокоит пострадавшего. А Тигран вернулся в семью и помирился с отцом.

Проблемы, с которыми сталкивается ЛГБТК-сообщество в Армении, являются серьезными и требуют немедленных действий со стороны общества, правительства и международного сообщества. Но несмотря на сложности, существует надежда на позитивные изменения и прогресс. Общественное мнение играет важную роль в изменении отношения к ЛГБТК-сообществу. Организации и активисты должны продолжать освещать проблемы, связанные с дискриминацией и стигмой, а также работать над повышением осведомленности об этом вопросе. Образовательные программы, мероприятия и кампании могут помочь смягчить предубеждения и создать атмосферу взаимопонимания и уважения.Важно, чтобы все люди осознавали – ЛГБТК-сообщество имеет те же права и заслуживает равных возможностей и защиты. 


Читать также:

Дискриминация и стигматизация ВИЧ-положительных детей в Армении: вызовы и необходимость действий

Преодоление стигмы и насилия: История выхода из западни для человека, употребляющего наркотики, в Армении

Categories
News

3-Day Intensive: Country REActors Trained in Armenia

February 3-5, 2023, a training was held in Yerevan on documenting cases of violation of the rights of representatives of key populations, as a measure to counteract obstacles in the provision of HIV services. REActors of three national, public organizations of Armenia that are implementing the project in the country were invited to participate: New Generation, National Trans Coalition, and Eurasian Key Populations Coalition. The trainer of the event was Victoria Kalyniuk, Regional Coordinator of REAct.

Over the course of three days, the REActors had the opportunity not only to learn more about the work of the tool itself but were also involved in practical exercises on the definition of discrimination, the level of stigmatization, the analysis of the legal environment of the country and the study of the obligations of the state in protecting the rights of key groups.

“A significant part of the event was devoted to the practice of interviewing, to correctly document by REActors, first of all, sensitive topics. For example, about violence,” Victoria shares. “I also want to note that this training is different from the previous ones, as for the first time it presents a lecture on gender-based violence, its fixation, causes, and consequences. We have not done this before. I think this will be a good start for a series of similar professional training for REActors and other countries in the region where our project is being implemented.”


Also read:

Uzbekistan hosted a round table on the topic of reducing barriers related to the violation of the rights of key populations

Community-based monitoring in action: how REAct helps to detect human rights violations and solve systemic gaps in the provision of health services